Thursday, September 20, 2012


So far, most of the tutees coming in have had some kind of expectation about what they want me to help them with. From grammar to punctuation, to sentence structure, most of them seemed to have some kind of idea about their paper before coming in. Sometimes this idea was due in part to professor comments, while other times it was due to a peer review, or just the student's personal feelings.
Today I had a student come in who was convinced that her punctuation was awful, in particular her comma placement, when in fact it was nothing of the sort. This student in particular had some problems with sentence structure, and also had placed several exclamation points throughout her essay. Though she hadn't even noticed these problems, she was rather receptive to them once I pointed them out. She asked a lot of questions, and I did my best to help her understand what the issues were in regards to her paper.
Thankfully, I am yet to come across a tutee that refuses to acknowledge the advice I am giving. Thus far all of my tutees have been helpful, curious, and receptive to what I say.
However, if I were to encounter this issue, I feel that I would try to find a middle ground. Perhaps at the start of the session I would say something like "Okay, but if you don't mind I'm going to look at everything, just to make sure its all correct." If they don't respond well to this, I would move on. And while I would point out grammar (or the like) if I found it, I would try to also point out the issues with the thesis and more at the same time. "You know, I haven't seen a (insert student's concern here) problem here, but I do see this. I think if you  rephrased or restructured here it would make a little more sense," and explain to them why. The why is always very important. Obviously, the tutee is free to not take my advice, but I feel that I should always help to try and improve their writing. That is, after all, why I am here in the first place.


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